50 collages on paper, dimensions variable
Photographic details shot in Armenia between 2010 and 2012
First presented at the solo exhibition Who Doesn’t Like a Good Old Story?, Kalfayan Gallery, Athens, 21 February – 21 April 2012
A Little Bit too Much, A Little Bit too Late is a series of 50 collages. They are composed of images of Soviet Armenia, gleaned from commemorating photo albums and tourist guides (dating from the ’50s to the ’80s) and salvaged from flea markets and second-hand bookstores, in the capital Yerevan. The collages juxtapose archival images of the countryside and the city, with details of dustbins, lampposts, playgrounds, street signs and gas pipes (photographed by the artist) that furnish the contemporary urban landscape of the city.
As images of Soviet modernity have become, over the past 20 years, another modality in consumer nostalgia and are treated as ‘exotic’ variations of the modern, A Little Bit too Much, A Little Bit too Late reacts precisely against this impulse to consume the ‘world as image’. Reflecting on the role of photography in the construction of historical memory, the collage series articulates visually the process of post-Soviet transition. By bringing together the space constructed by the Soviet propaganda machine, with specific decorative forms that populate it, the collages produce another entry point into the photographic representations (another space) and highlight a series of cultural crossovers. The dustbins and lampposts that decorate the city become in the collages the tools for domesticating the image, acting as memorials that commemorate the modern as a distant past, as at the same time are transformed into central emblems of a new landscape.